Cyclophosphamide dose adjustment based on body weight and albuminemia in elderly patients treated with R-mini-CHOP

  • E. Baudry
  • S. Huguet
  • A. L. Couderc
  • P. Chaibi
  • F. Bret
  • C. Verny
  • S. Weill
  • O. Madar
  • S. Urien
  • Keyvan RezaiEmail author
Original Article



Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoma in elderly patients, and R-CHOP chemotherapy is the standard treatment protocol for DLBCL. Elderly patients (often defined as 75 years of age) are treated with anticancer drugs with precaution; however, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK and PD) of these agents have not been thoroughly investigated in this population. In this study, we investigated the PK of cyclophosphamide (CP) and doxorubicin (DOXO) in elderly patients in order to verify if there is an influence of age on the PK of these anticancer drugs.

Materials and methods

This is a prospective multi-center clinical trial investigating the PK of CP and DOXO in elderly and very elderly patients with DLBCL treated by R-mini-CHOP regimen. Dose levels were 25 mg/m2, 0.7–1.4 mg/m2, 750 mg/m2, and 375 mg/m2 for DOXO, Vincristine (VCR), CP, and Rituximab, respectively. For PK analysis, 7 time point samples were collected over 48 h post-administration on cycle 3. CP and VCR plasma concentrations were measured using UPLC–MS/MS validated method. DOX plasma concentrations were measured using UPLC coupled with fluorescence detection-validated method. PK-POP modeling has been performed with a non-linear mixed-effect model program (Monolix).


31 patients (15 males and 16 females), 75 to 96 years old, were treated with R-miniCHOP protocol. Among them, 19 patients were treated with VCR. A one-compartment (1cpt) open model with linear elimination adequately described CP concentration–time courses. The population PK parameters for CP were: CL = 3.58 L/h, Vmale = 32.2 L, and Vfemale = 28.7 L. Body weight (BW), albuminemia, and gender demonstrated a significant impact on CP PK. A 2-compartment (2cpt) open model with linear elimination best described DOXO concentration–time courses. The population PK parameters for DOXO obtained for the structural model were: CL = 51.1 L/h, Q = 49.6 L/h, V1 = 29.4 L, V2 = 1,130 L (clearances: CL, Q, volumes of distribution: V1, V2). The main covariate effects on DOXO PK were related to gender, BW, and VCR administration. VCR increases DOXO V1 from 29.4 L to 57.5 L (p = 0.02). No hematologic and cardiac grade 3 or 4 toxicity were recorded.


Usually, in the absence of specific data, the majority of the physicians empirically reduce anticancer drug dose in the elderly patients (Tourani in J Geriatr Oncol 3(1): 41–48, 2012), or even does not treat these very-old patients. A better knowledge of the pharmacokinetics in very-old patients should allow a better dose adjustment based on the most significant physiological factors that modify the pharmacokinetic parameters. In this study, no serious toxicity was observed in these very elderly patients (84.1 years). This indicates that dose adjustment of chemotherapies should not only be based on age and creatinine clearance, but also, based upon appropriate physiological and biological data. Our findings indicate that, CP dose adjustment should be done according to serum albumin levels and patients BW and gender.


Eldelrly patients R-mini-CHOP Pharmacokinetics Dose adjustment 


Author contributions

Concept and design: EB, PC, KR. Data collection: EB, AL. Couderc, analysis and interpretation of data: SH, FB, SW, OM, KR. Manuscript writing and approval: EB, CV, SU, KR.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has conflicts of interest directly related to the contents of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unité de Geriatrie Aigüe CHU BicêtreLe Kremlin-BicêtreFrance
  2. 2.Radio-Pharmacology DepartmentInstitut CurieSaint CloudFrance
  3. 3.Service de Médecine InterneGériatrie et Thérapeutique-Assistance publique des hopitaux de MarseilleMarseilleFrance
  4. 4.Hôpitaux universitaires La Pitié-Salpêtrière-Charles-FoixIvry-sur-SeineFrance
  5. 5.INSERMParisFrance

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